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The CW star fully accepts her body, and wants women to stop beating themselves up about their looks

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January 29, 2016 05:15 PM

Is there a better cheerleader for women than Gina Rodriguez?

The Jane the Virgin star is outspoken about accepting her body as beautiful – regardless of what she might hear from the entertainment industry – and wants other women to feel the same.

“I am constantly working toward bettering myself, and that means catering to what is best for my body,” Rodriguez, 31, tells Yahoo! Health. “It means feeling the most comfortable in my skin and not living up to false perceptions of what that is, or that there is just one body type.”

“It’s a long journey because of how often we are bombarded with images of supposed “perfection” and we have to consistently be battling them. We have to remind ourselves that we are enough and “perfect” is an illusion.”

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Growing up, it wasn’t always easy for Rodriguez to follow that advice. Though “super-skinny” as a salsa dancer in high school, that changed when she went to college.

“When I was 19 years old, I was diagnosed with thyroid disease, which directly affected my metabolism. It was impossible to keep weight off like when I was a full-time dancer,” she explains. “Now, that’s when I was in college and the idea of not being naturally skinny scared the crap out of me. That’s when I went on a journey of self-acceptance and body acceptance for the place I am at now.”

The Golden Globe winner, who’s a regular at her local boxing ring, says part of what makes her feel comfortable in her body is training it to feel strong, and “pushing my body to the limits and then past them.”

Now, along with lingerie brand Naja, Rodriguez is designing a line of underwear for women of all shapes and sizes to help women feel as confident as she does.

“In societal norms, I don’t have the ‘perfect’ body, and yet I feel like it is, and I feel like I can rock whatever I damn well please,” Rodriguez says. “So, it was important for me to bring that perspective into the company to bring awareness that you don’t have to have any specific body type to wear lingerie or feel sexy as hell in it. All women own it, and all women should own it.”

Creating lingerie that’s accessible for all women is important to Rodriguez, because she wants them to know that, “beauty comes in all forms.”

“There is no one definition of beautiful, so do not live up to the standards of someone else. Ultimately, you are the one who must love your body. No one else.”

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